Happy Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving has always been my most favorite holiday. I have many childhood memories waiting downtown Detroit for Santa to appear on Woodward. My Dad and Uncles would wedge a wooden plank between two ladders from where my sister, cousins and I would watch the parade while drinking hot chocolate from a thermos. While the parade … Continued

GM IPO – Let’s keep the celebrations to a minimum

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While we think there is some small cause for celebration in GM going public today and repaying a portion of the taxpayer’s money, we believe GM has a long way to go before proving it is a completely rehabilitated company. GM still has a number of problems to face as a public company. Their market … Continued

A Hidden Gem from the United Nations

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The United Nations reported on November 4, 2010 “There had been tremendous advances all over the world since 1970, as indicated by the Human Development Index… .” This Index measures health, education, and income levels across the globe. Some may assert it is not a comprehensive measure of the well being of the world’s inhabitants, … Continued

Thoughts on the Election

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Like a large number of their fellow Americans, the Democrats lost their house on Tuesday. The power has shifted in Washington with the Republican controlled house serving as a counterbalance to President Obama and the Democratic majority in the Senate. A major concern is gridlock in this weak economy. Gridlock would be a result of … Continued

November Surprise

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Given expectations of material changes in the contours of Congress after next week’s elections, it is not inconceivable that the leader of the Democratic Party, President Obama, could launch a “November Surprise.” While this is pure speculation, our hunch is that it could be related to the Afghan war which is very unpopular with the … Continued

Michigan’s Number One Export

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There has been much discussion regarding the outflow of college graduates from Michigan. By some accounts more than half of all recent college graduates have left the state for a job. We’ve experienced it with our own family members, and have heard plenty of similar stories of our clients’ children heading to Chicago, New York, … Continued

Timeless Advice

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Washington DC policymakers continue to grapple with measures to spur job growth. The October 12, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal does a service to its readers with the inclusion of one of James Madison’s 222 year old submissions to the Federalist Papers (Number 62). His observations are every bit as insightful now as … Continued

Just Another Number

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been bumping up against the “11,000” level. While for those who are “long” stocks, the increase means their net worth has been enhanced, but there is still nothing particularly noteworthy about this level. However, investors and observers are riveted on these milestones and accept each as a barometer with … Continued

Don’t Let Your Guard Down

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We haven’t talked too much about inflation here and have recently noticed concerns about inflation have been somewhat mitigated in the press and blogosphere. We get especially nervous about something when everyone else thinks it’s not worth worrying about. Inflation is a measure of a general rise in prices of goods and services over time. … Continued

What is the price of gold telling us? Your thoughts?

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Gold prices spiked this week, gaining over $50 per ounce in one trading day. In the absence of evidence of widespread, surging consumer prices, and with relative calm on the geo-political stage, the natural question to ask is, “What does this signal?”. Japan and China have intervened in currency markets this week with Japan trying … Continued

Make Up Your Mind

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The equity markets were quite weak in August, but the first week of September has brought strength. Investors are looking for clues, trying to assemble a series of statistics that might indicate the course of economic growth, and hence corporate profits which, over the long term, drive equity prices. Election season rhetoric will begin to … Continued

Drain the Swamp

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Read the article from this week’s Barron’s Magazine – “Was The Flash Crash Rigged?” The expert cited in the article implies market manipulation by high frequency trading (hft) firms. If they have not done so already, the SEC needs to immediately launch an investigation (and be more rigorous than when investigating Madoff). Capitalism thrives because … Continued